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March 10, 2014 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2014-03-10

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Activists holding placards depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin as Adolf Hitler reading Putler and "hands off Ukraine"
in front of the Ukrainian embassy during a solidarity demonstration.
Putin defends separatiSst
drive in Crimea as legal

From Page 2A
Diversity has also played a
large role in the conversation
about access to higher educa-
tion. In the last few months, the
Black Student Union has gained
national media coverage for
bringing attention to the lack
of diversity at the University
by calling for increased minor-
ity enrollment - an increase
of Black students to 10 percent
- and more on-site recruiting
in underserved communities,
among other demands.
This issue is one that the
Department of Education is
also trying to combat. Duncan
explained that minority gradu-
ation and college attendance
rates have been on the rise in
recent years, but added that the
proposed budget could further
bolster these trends.
"We've seen some very sig-
nificant improvement over the
last couple of years," Duncan
said. "Graduation rates are at an
all-time high, largely driven by
increases in Black (and) Latino
graduation rates. More students
not just waiting, but going on to
college. But we know we have
a lot of hard work ahead of us.
We're not where we need to be."
Duncan said closing the
achievement gap will directly
contribute to increased college
readiness in underserved and
From Page 1A
Oscar winners took part in mul-
tiple rehearsals for the ceremo-
ny with the actors and actresses.
"A few celebrities would
come through and practice their
lines. So, just seeing them and
rehearsing with them took away

low-income communities, a goal
reflected by Obama's proposed
"Race to the Top" initiative.
The initiative would invest $300
million to target and fix com-
munities saddled with educa-
tional inequity.
The program would allow
the government to give grants
to underprivileged schools to
invest in stronger teachers,
technology, expanded learning
time and more access to "rigor-
ous coursework," according to
an Education Department press
The goal is to bolster career
readiness and post-secondary
education readiness, which
Duncan said is as important as
improving college affordability.
Duncan added that increas-
ing college readiness is one step
toward a greater goal: reclaim-
ing the top spot in college
completion internationally. He
said this achievement would be
"essential for our nation's eco-
nomic prosperity," an argument
that would contribute to the
budget proposal's four pillars of
addressing affordability.
These include increasing the
federal government's invest-
ment in the First in the World
fund, which supports institu-
tional policies to decrease the
cost of higher education, to $100
million; increasing the maxi-
mum size of federal Pell Grants,
which the government gives to
more than 9 million low-income
college undergraduates each
all the nerves," Abdul-Nabi said.
"It felt like we knew the people
and we were actually a part of
the production."
After being introduced on
stage during the night of the
awards by actor Channing
Tatum, the six students were
each given four of the 24 awards
to deliver to the celebrities pre-
senting. Abdul-Nabi was on
stage for the presentation of the

Monday, March 10, 2014 - 5A
year to help pay tuition; allotting
funds to establish a new college
ratings system; and investing
$75 million in a new "competi-
tive grant initiative that would
give minority-serving institu-
tions financial support.
Kelly Cunningham, Universi-
ty director of public affairs, said
these initiatives are promising
with regard to the University's
goals for the future.
"We are reviewing the bud-
get proposal details now, but we
do note an increase in the Pell
Grant amount, which could be
helpful for our students," she
wrote in a statement. "We'll
continue to evaluate the budget
and work together with our col-
leagues in Washington as the
budget season progresses."
In a press release, the Asso-
ciation of American Universi-
ties - of which the University
is a member - wrote that the
government's proposed bud-
get amendments would bolster
access to higher education, but
have left research funding by
the wayside.
"The President's FY15 bud-
get does disappointingly little
to close the nation's innova-
tion deficit," the AAU state-
ment read. "When it comes to
research, its modest spending
increases in a few key research
agencies are not sufficient to
put this nation on an invest-
ment path that can ensure we
remain the world's innovation
awards for best short animated
film, best sound mixing, best
original score and best direct-
"I really loved it," Abdul-Nabi
said. "This was something that
only me and the other student
presenters could experience.
We could experience working
onstage but also we know what
it's like to be a viewer and watch
at home."

U.S. claims
movement violates
international law
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) - Rus-
sian President Vladimir Putin
on Sunday defended the sepa-
ratist drive in the disputed
Crimean Peninsula as in keep-
ing with international law,
but Ukraine's prime minister
vowed not to relinquish "a sin-
gle centimeter" of his country's
Over the weekend, the
Kremlin beefed up its military
presence in Crimea, a part of
Ukraine since 1954, and pro-
Russia forces keep pushing for
a vote in favor of reunification
with Moscow in a referendum
the local parliament has sched-
uled for next Sunday.
President Barack Obama has
warned that the March 16 vote
would violate international law.
But in-Moscow, Putin made it
clear that he supports the refer-
endum in phone calls with Ger-
man Chancellor Angela Merkel
and British Minister David
"The steps taken by the legit-
imate leadership of Crimea are
based on the norms of interna-
tional law and aim to ensure the
legal interests of the population
of the peninsula," said Putin,
according to the Kremlin.
Following an extraordi-
nary Sunday meeting of the
Ukrainian government, Prime
Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk
announced that he will meet
with Obama in Washington on
Wednesday on a "resolution of
the situation in Ukraine," the
Interfax news agency report-
ed. The White House con-
firmed the meeting.
"Our country and our people
are facing the biggest chal-
lenges in the history of mod-
ern independent Ukraine," the
prime minister said earlier in
the day. "Will we be able to deal
with these challenges? There
should only be one answer to
this question and that is: yes."

In an emotional climate
of crisis, Ukraine on Sunday
solemnly commemorated the
200th anniversary of the birth
of its greatest poet, Taras
Shevchenko, a son of peasant
serfs who is a national hero and
is considered the father of mod-
ern Ukrainian literature.
"This is our land," Yatse-
nyuk told a crowd gathered at
the Kiev statue to Shevchenko.
"Our fathers and grandfathers
have spilled their blood for this
land. And we won't budge a sin-
gle centimeter from Ukrainian
land. Let Russia and its presi-
dent know this."
"We're one country, one
family and we're here together
with our kobzar (bard) Taras,"
said acting President Oleksandr
Later, Ukrainians in the tens
of thousands massed in the
Kiev's center for a multi-faith
prayer meeting to display unity
and honor Shevchenko. One of
the speakers, former impris-
oned Russian tycoon Mikhail
Khodorkovsky, almost burst
into tears as he implored the
crowd to believe not all Rus-
sians support their country's
recent actions in Ukraine.
"I want you to know there is
a completely different Russia,"
Khodorkovsky said.
In the eastern city of
Luhansk, however, people who
gathered in a square to cel-
ebrate Shevchenko's birthday
were attacked by pro-Russia
protesters, and some were
beaten up, local media reports
Chanting "Russia! Russia!"
the demonstrators then broke
through a police barricade and
took over the local government
building, where they raised the
Russian flag and demanded a
citywide referendum on join-
ing Russia, Channel 5 and other
local media reported.
But it's Crimea, a strategic
peninsula in the Black Sea, that
has become the chief flash-
point in the battle for Ukraine,
where three months of pro-
tests sparked by President Vic-
tor Yanukovych's decision to
ditch a significant treaty with

the 28-nation European Union
after strong pressure from Rus-
sia led to his downfall.
A majority of people in
Crimea identify with Russia,
and Moscow's Black Sea Fleet
is based in Sevastopol, as is
In Simferopol, Crimea's capi-
tal, a crowd of more than 4,000
people turned out Sunday to
endorse unification with Rus-
sia. On Lenin Square, a naval
band played World War II
songs as old women sang along,
and dozens of tricolor Russian
flags fluttered in the cold wind.
"Russians are our brothers,"
Crimean Parliament speaker
Vladimir Konstantinov said.
He asked the crowd how it
would vote in the referendum a
week hence.
"Russia! Russia!" came the
loud answer.
"We are going back home to
the motherland," said Konstan-
Across town, at a park where
a large bust of Shevchenko
stands, around 500 people,
some wearing yellow-and-blue
Ukrainian flags on their shoul-
ders like capes, came out to
oppose unification with Russia.
They chanted "No to the
referendum!" and "Ukraine!"
People handed out fliers, one
of which listed the economic
woes that joining Russia would
supposedly cause.
"We will not allow a foreign
boot that wants to stand on the
heads of our children," said one
of the speakers, Alla Petrova.
"The people are not scared. We
are not scared to come out here
and speak."
Some pro-Russians drove by,
shouting "Moscow, Moscow!"
from their cars, but there was
no trouble.
Associated Press reporters
in Crimea said all Ukrainian
television channels appeared
to have been taken off the air
by Sunday evening, save for one
that appeared to rebroadcast-
ing programs from Moscow-
based Russia-24.
British Foreign Secretary
William Hague, who appeared
on the BBC Sunday morning,


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